I have a hearing coming up to determine whether a juvenile will have to register as a sex offender. The judge already shot down TYC so I'm not confident that he will make him register either. I am wondering what arguments some of you have used to convice the court that registration is necessary. If it helps here are some facts. This kid has four child victims that we know of. The victims are his brother and three family friends. He is in high school but is supposed to be in some type of alternative school at least for this year.
I would get an expert. The expert could talk about the fact that multiple victims make the person a greater risk. If there are supervision problems, this is a factor that puts him at higher risk. There are plenty of other risk factors. The expert would know more risk factors that may or may not be present. I would make a big deal out of the power he had over his victims, especially since he is high school aged. I would be sure to use the word pedophilia. If he threatened his victims I would make that clear to the judge.
Note that the Legislature made several (minor?) changes to CCP Art. 62.13 that go into effect 9/1/03 and apply to any hearings held on or after that date, regardless of the date of offense. The changes are contained in TDCAA's new CCPs, on sale now ...
Posts: 2419 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002
check with other local prosecutors to see what experts they've used on similar issues. Ron Perrett, from Denton has been excellent for our cases. He has testified for defense and prosecution, he usually testifies that part of the process involves the perpetrator accepting responsibility, and as part of that responsibility, and registration can be a part of accepting that responsibility. Look back through the file and have your expert look at what type of grooming behavior the perp had. See what the age differences were, if there were victims of both sexes and various ages, then your perp is a multi-dimensional offender and it's more difficult to treat, etc. What degree of force, intimidation, coercion was used? Also, how truthful has the perp been in treatment, or has he missed sessions. Is the family complying, or are they allowing him to have access to kids, internet, etc.
Posts: 4 | Location: Wichita Falls, TX | Registered: February 21, 2003
Under the new changes (eff.9-1-03) to 62.13 there is a provision that allows registration to be excused following SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF TREATMENT, unless the prosecutor files a motion and requests a hearing on the issue of registration. I am not sure where you are in your case, but I would argue that the legislative intent is that "successful completion of treatment" occur and that this is the minimum threshold necessary for the court to even consider excusing registration. I also would also look at the Texas Juvenile Sex Offender Risk Assessment Instrument and use the criteria set out in that instrument to evaluate the juvenile respondent and fashion my argument to the court. (I have a copy of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Instrument - which I got from David Montague in Fort Worth - If you want it, and will let me know, I will FAX or send it to you.) I would also argue for Non-public registration as an alternative to being excused from registration. (Often when the victim is a family member, they plead that public registration has some adverse effect on the sibling-victim, and the whole family asks for registration to be excused. Non public registration could be an alternative in an appropriate case.)
We had the hearing last Friday and the judge deferred registration pending his successful completion of sex offender treatment. The judge commented that it was a small county insinuating I suppose, that everyone knows he is a sex offender and registration wouldn't protect the public. Monday morning our office received a call from the parent of one of the victims telling us that the juvenile's family was apparently hosting a party on Saturday because they saw several children in the juvenile's yard playing. I hope all those kids parents are aware of his sex offender status, but I bet they aren't.
We do a no contact with children under the age of 16 except as necessary for school purposes condition of probation that works well for that situation. Most of the registered sex offender treatment providers Ft. Bend uses recommend that for the "safety" of their clients anyway.